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2005 Ford Mustang GT - In Focus
Steve McCord Knew What He Wanted From His '05 GT
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The redesigned Mustang appeals to the masses in different aspects. Some like its practicality, others the retro look that's reminiscent of the Mustangs of musclecar lore. And, of course, there are those who love the engineering and power that comes with the S197 platform and 4.6-liter powerplant.
Steve McCord has been a Mustang lover since the day he purchased his first car decades ago. "I've had a passion for cars as long as I can remember," he says. "I bought my first car, a '66 Mustang coupe, when I was 15. Some 28 years later, I own an '05 Mustang GT coupe and a '65 Mustang fastback."
While the fastback surely rates high on the cool meter, the '05's styling brings Steve back to his wilder days-albeit with the modern creature comforts and technology we've all come to require from new automobiles. If you do the math, you can figure out that Steve is 43 years old, making the redesigned ponycar a statement of youth. "The reason I bought the '05 Mustang is because of the styling," he says. "It has the lines of the '60s classic car we fell in love with. I knew as soon as I saw the concept car I had to have one."
Steve went to his local dealer, plunked down the cash, and, with pink slip in hand, drove his new set of wheels home. After consulting with his friend Jon Fukuda, Steve had a computer rendition of what he wanted the Stang to look like. Armed with his checkbook and the drawing, he set off on a 45-day journey to transform the car from stocker to rocker.
First on the to-do list was putting pop under the hood. Steve took the stock 4.6-liter Three-Valve mod motor and topped it with a Vortech blower system. The S-Trim huffer feeds the water-cooled air charge, while a 255-lph in-tank fuel pump and high-flow injectors handle the fuel delivery chores. What goes in must come out, and with the blower forcing air in at a high rate of speed, Steve bolted on a Borla cat-back exhaust system to get the spent gases out quickly. He then had B&D Racing (Canoga Park, California) handle the tuning chores, making sure the mighty Ford powerplant was getting every last ounce of power to the drivetrain.
Steve wanted the Stang to look as good as it sounded and performed, so he cruised over to M&M Auto Arts in Sun Valley, California. There, Marty Lorentzen bolted on the 3dCarbon "Boy Racer" body kit and started working on the two-tone paint job. Steve likes the color red, but he always wanted a black GT, so Marty came up with the flashy scheme. The result is a gorgeous, show-car quality finish, thanks to the black and red Tu-Tone custom paint that features silver to grey shadow accents and blue pinstriping.
Not stopping there, Steve dropped off the Pony at Chatsworth Upholstery. The crew at the Chatsworth, California, shop reshaped the GT seats, adding bolsters and perforated seat inserts. Matching the seats to the exterior was the name of the game, and the new cushions feature red stitching with a grey accent bar on the top. All of this was cut from soft leather, making Steve's tail happy on long trips. He did keep the stock Shaker 500 system and MTX speakers, but relocated the head unit in a custom dash. He had a Ford My Color gauge cluster installed, and he also stocked the cockpit with Auto Meter gauges, including a fuel pressure and boost gauge to make sure things are just fine under the hood.
To get all of the power the Vortech blower was supplying to the ground, Steve enlisted BMR Fabrication to help out in the suspension department. After bolting in a new Pro-5.0 shifter for the five-speed transmission, BMR hooked up a pair of subframe connectors. A strut tower brace and A-arm supports made their way onto the front suspension, and Tokico D-spec struts, springs, and shocks found their respective homes on all four corners. BMR also constructed tubular control arms complete with polyurethane bushings, adjustable upper control arms, and a tubular Panhard bar. All of this helps keep the 20x8 front and 20x10 rear Foose Nitrous wheels and corresponding Nitto 255/35/R20 rubber planted on the track and the street. Baer Decela rotors help shorten the stopping distance.
Just like the original Mustang, which appeals to every fan in one way or another, the finished product served a dual purpose for Steve. "I drive it as an everyday driver, and I take it to the track on weekends for SVTOA and NASA driving events," he says. "I really enjoy going to the race tracks with this car because it has a show-car look with a bunch of go under the hood."
Luckily for us, we were able to keep the car in focus long enough to get a good, close look at it.